by Robin Lyons, OPEX Coach
I called an old friend / teammate of mine Derek Woodske to have a discussion around strength training (what else would we talk about ?) Anyway, the discussion ended with a psychological exploration about coaching, training, athletics and our experiences. Is was an enlightening chat that I wanted to share with all of you in hopes to maybe resonate with some of you on your own training and coaching journeys…
Reflecting back to my competitive track and field days for the Canadian National Team and University of Wyoming I was very emotionally driven. Competing in Track (specifically the Throws) was a way to express my self worth, purpose and define who Robin Lyons was.
My training and competitions were driven under the same emotion. I would train hard everyday looking for a personal record in the weight room or on the throwing field. It was always about getting better, and if your weren’t getting better everyday you would definitely hear about it from the coach. We were young athletes with something all in common; we wanted to be somebody and we had nothing to lose. Everyday was a proving ground and when we couldn’t deliver we rode that emotion deep into our self worth… it was destructive energy, that could only go away by lifting more weight, or throwing farther…thats it.
Obviously bad days came and I typically fought back with anger against myself….I would wake up at 6am and head down to the university wt room to do the wrestlers workout before throwing practice (obviously no clue about physiology at this point). But I was looking for a fix to my feeling of emptiness…
This is an exhausting way to train, live and compete as an athlete. Unfortunately the guidance we had supported the same destructive mentality. The road to success for us was driven by fear of failure and fear of not being someone, because our identity was so wrapped up in our accomplishments.
My personal growth from that point has been a work in progress. As a coach, I’ve battled similar emotions that were welded into my soul from the past. Taking a step back from competition has given me the space to reflect on my experiences and what coaching and training mean to me now. As I work with athletes daily near and far, I am becoming more and more aware of their psychological journey as well as mine. As a coach it’s easy to get wrapped up in performances of your athletes and their emotions. Especially when its competition time….nobody wants to lose or do less than they are capable of…. so how do we minimize this fear? It starts with letting go…
Training and Coaching is not emotional, and the more I coach the more I realize how emotions get in the way of the plan. Putting a program together is logical not emotional. The best athletes and coaches don’t respond to good days and bad days…missed reps or good reps! Remember this: You are only the product of your averages. You are not as good as your best day or as bad as your worst day, you are the product of what you do each and every day over the time line you set. Drawing awareness to your emotional triggers i believe is key in understanding that those emotions can be felt, but must be let go to further your development, potential and get you to your goal.
Training is numbers and a plan day in and day out. The more simple you can make it and the less attached you can be with your plan I would argue that your experiences and your outcomes will be more rewarding.
A1. Box jump, step down – 5×5 – no rest
A2. Pullups negatives – x3-5 second lower on each repetition – 5×5-8 – rest 2 minutes
500m row – at pace (+/- 2 seconds)
Rest 2:30 x4
Rest 5 minutes, repeat
-Goal on A1 – choose a box which enables you to land in a quarter-squat position, so not one too hgh
-Goal on A2 – use bands if necessary to allow you to lower in a controlled x3-5 second count
-Pace on rower is determined as your average 500m pace during the 2k row (ex. 7:00 2000m/4 = 1:45/500m)
-Post times and reps schemes
Row 5k @Aer pace
– every 1k get 2 sec fasted, start EASY pace
A. Push Press + Push Jerk; 2.1 x 5; rest 2 min (build)
B. Emom 8 min – Jerk x 3 (70% of 1RM)
C. Wtd. chin up; 2-3 x 5; rest 2 min (all sets tough)
15 OHS (185#)
15 manmakers (35#)
A. Jerk – build to a moderately tough single from blocks
B. Emom – Push press x 1 (from blocks) – build to a max from 70% – Max 12 sets
C. PC; 8,8,8; rest 3 min (8 singles, not Tng, build from 72.5%)
9 HPC (125#)